Volume 01 – Thyroid Hormone Production 101
Seriously, what foods are you eating, what supplements are you taking to make sure your body is producing hormones??
9 out of 10 people I ask these questions have no answer!
Then again, this topic is very controversial and a lot of the information regarding this topic is completely wrong…
The white coat man/woman may be telling you the opposite of what I’m about to share so brace yourself…
In my case they told me there was nothing I could do about it… oh boy, want to get under my skin? tell me I can’t do something and then watch me do it!
If you want your body to produce hormones you have to understand one thing.
To make hormones, your body uses CHOLESTEROL as the raw material.
If you think cholesterol is bad, you are in trouble…
This is exactly what I meant by keeping an open mind. About 60% of the people who read this will say “no way”, click the “X” at the top right of the browser and continue taking hormones for the rest of their life… probably synthetic.
I do my best to help these people, but the rest of this newsletter is for the 40% who read that Cholesterol IS YOUR BEST FRIEND when it comes to making hormones and said “wow, my doctor never told me this”…
… and please by all means, don’t believe me just blindly. Research this stuff on your own.
I say this because when I first heard this I disregarded it.
Before I started researching about hypothyroidism I was completely ignorant about the topic of cholesterol.
All I knew (or thought I knew) about cholesterol was that it was bad. This pre-conceived notion came from me growing up watching grandma take stuff to lower her cholesterol.
I didn’t know what cholesterol was, what it did, or how the body used it, but I just assumed it was bad because my grandma had problems with it, even though I didn’t understand her problem or knew anything about cholesterol.
Well, I have come to find out the exact opposite is true.
So let me repeat…
The body uses cholesterol to make EVERY hormone in your body.
If you want to ensure your thyroid produces the thyroid hormones you NEED so you can stop taking T4 (especially synthetic) then you need to make friends with cholesterol…
Unfortunately, the experts believe the opposite… they want you to shy away from cholesterol…
You can believe them and keep taking hormones or you can continue reading…
Here’s what they say…
“When thyroid levels are low and TSH levels are increased, cholesterol levels increase”…
Which is true…
… and by the way, let me go on a quick little tangent since I get asked this a lot.
This is one way you can tell if your thyroid is producing enough hormones… is your cholesterol normal or high?
If it’s normal, then chances are your thyroid IS producing hormones and your hypothyroidism goes beyond the thyroid…
If your cholesterol is high, then chances are your thyroid is not producing enough hormones and yes you probably should be taking hormones until you figure out how to make your thyroid function again…
*quick disclaimer – I am not a doctor so anything related to medications I will refer to the white coat man since they are the ones licensed to talk about them
You will soon know more than they do about hypothyroidism anyway so don’t worry. Just know that I was very afraid to do anything without the approval of the white coat man. Once I realized that what I needed to do involved things they knew nothing about and in some cases by doing THE OPPOSITE of what they told me, well I became my own doctor… but trust me, this was only after years and years of research full time (I’m talking 12 -14 hour days for my first 8 months and a lot of experimenting on myself)
Anyways, back to cholesterol levels and hypothyroidism.
When people with hypothyroidism and high cholesterol read that low thyroid levels increase cholesterol they automatically remove saturated fats and other sources of cholesterol from their diet because they are being told that saturated fats increase cholesterol…
… but that’s only half true…
Low hormone levels increase bad cholesterol.
If you have low levels of thyroid hormones then the liver will start producing cholesterol to try to make up for it… but here’s the distinction.
There’s good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.
Good cholesterol = HDL cholesterol
Bad cholesterol = LDL cholesterol
Stay with me now…
When thyroid levels are low, the liver produces LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol)…
Let me rephrase this, the bad cholesterol you want to get rid doesn’t come from food, it comes from your liver which is created when you have low thyroid levels.
The liver uses good cholesterol and good saturated fats from food to reduce the bad cholesterol your liver produces. It also uses thyroid hormone to reduce bad cholesterol.
The only way you are going to reduce the bad cholesterol your liver is producing is to get your thyroid to produce more hormones.
To get your thyroid to produce more hormones you need GOOD cholesterol and good saturated fats.
See the dilemma?
It’s counter intuitive…
I had to come to terms with this, because I was afraid of cholesterol and saturated fats.
What you need to learn is good cholesterol and good saturated fats are your best friends to make hormones.
Again, the experts are going to tell you to stay away from cholesterol and saturated fats, but that’s just going to send you into a downward spiral.
This is why I did the opposite of what they told me!
If you don’t make friends with cholesterol and saturated fats, your body won’t produce the hormones it needs, period.
No thyroid hormones = high bad cholesterol…
It’s a vicious cycle…
Worse, the experts try to get you on vegetable oils!!!
Most people with hypothyroidism continue to gain weight and feel fatigued because they eat too “lean”… they tend to avoid fats and cholesterol. The fats they eat are the wrong type!
Many “goo-roos” recommend the kind of oils and foods that are full of polyunsaturated fats, which further inhibits your body’s ability to produce hormones!!
This is madness!
That’s why I have fallen in love with things like coconut oil (yummm saturated fat)!!
… screw the egg white, I prefer raw pastured fertile egg yolks (yumm cholesterol)…
Ok… I still eat the egg white separate for protein, creatine and other nutrients, but I cook that…
I include saturated fats and cholesterol in my diet because I understand that’s what my body needs to produce hormones.
This is hormone production 101.
Again, there’s different root causes of hypothyroidism.
- The thyroid doesn’t produce T4 hormone
- The liver doesn’t convert T4 into T3
- Your body produces “reverse T3” instead of “free T3”
- Your cells are unable to absorb “free T3”
… and a few more, but these are the basics.
Are you starting to see why most people with hypothyroidism are stuck?
All they can think of is “I’m taking hormones, but I still feel like crap!”
Well that’s because if you take hormones and it doesn’t make you feel normal then your root cause is NOT the thyroid.
If you take hormones and you DO feel normal, then you need to put more focus on getting your body to produce its own hormones.
That is of course unless you’ve had your thyroid removed. If that’s the case, that’s more advanced, but know that this information still applies and I will talk more about this in a future newsletter.
To summarize this section, if my body produces the hormones it needs, then the liver doesn’t need to produce bad cholesterol and I’m good, makes sense??
I eat good saturated fat, good cholesterol and I avoid bad fats that inhibit hormone production, like canola oil, safflower oil, and others.[/text_block]
Good Fats and Cholesterol for Hypothyroidism
I know this may be very different than what you’ll read in public websites, but then again, it’s no wonder why so many people are still feeling fatigued and gaining weight. They are doing the opposite of what they should be doing!
They have a logical argument.
Most people you ask thinks of lean meats like turkey and chicken as more healthy options than red meat.
To an extent that is true… but when you are trying to produce hormones, then fatty foods become your best friend.
Quick tangent – In my journey since 2012 I have been on different diets including paleo, raw vegan, 80/10/10, abs diet, slow carb diet, and I have even been a liquidtarian!!
That’s right I even lived off of nothing but liquids.
So understand that I don’t classify myself as following any of these types of diets. I simply understand why I’m eating the foods I’m eating and that’s how I choose.
I don’t eat much meat, but I also don’t shy away from it. All of this will be discussed in more detail when we begin to optimize our diets and I will cater to all kinds of diets and you’ll understand enough to make your own decisions as well.
So in section 1 above we basically established that cholesterol and good saturated fats are your best friends to produce hormones and that you need to look into good saturated fats for your diet…
My all time favorite for saturated fats is coconut oil and MCT oil.
Coconut oil = life when you have hypothyroidism
For cholesterol, there’s nothing like the yolk from raw, pasture fed, free-range, fertile eggs… (store bought are okay, but it’s best to find a local source). I buy mine from a guy about 4 miles from my house who raises his own chickens and has a rooster on property.
This way I know exactly what the chickens eat, I know that they are fertile and so I trust them.
There’s many foods you should look into and we’ll talk more about diet in a future newsletter, but here’s a little insight to start preparing you.
To better understand what foods you are looking for I want to point out something.
Our thyroid is part of the ENDOcrine system, which is all the glands that produce hormones and regulate things like metabolism, sexual function, fertility, sleep, mood, etc.
When I first talked to the ENDOcrinologist couple I mention in my newsletters, I realized that I knew some things they didn’t know…
See, brewing beer taught me one thing about grains, seeds and nuts… the inside of these is called the ENDOsperm…
I mean just the word itself Endo-Sperm… Endo – I think hormones… Sperm – I think fertility.
This is what’s in seeds and grains!
What I hope you understand is that an entire tree will grow out of the endosperm. The endosperm has everything we need for “life” to happen.
The endosperm of a seed is the equivalent of our endocrine system.
This is what makes certain plants, trees and grass “fertile”…
Just like the endosperm makes a seed fertile, our endocrine system makes us fertile.
It’s how I became aware that seedless fruits can impact your endocrine system and create fertility issues by robbing you of the nutrients and raw materials your body needs to be “fertile”…
A lot of seeds have oils (fats) that we need to produce hormones and make us fertile…
That’s why I laugh at the idea of “organic seedless fruits” and it’s the reason why “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. (that’s how shady the food industry has become)
If you meet enough people with hypothyroidism, you’ll find it quite common for people to lose their sex drive and in some cases have fertility issues…
If they only knew that there are foods that will help them gain their fertility back simply by putting into their system the oils the body needs to produce hormones they’d be fine.
There are some fruits I eat mostly because their seeds help the body produce hormones we need like testosterone and well thyroid hormone… one of these fruits is Goji Berries.
If you Google “goji berries testosterone” you’ll find out that these help increase the human growth hormone…
If goji berries can feed an 800 pound gorilla (it’s what they eat), I’m sure it can feed me.
This is important for hypothyroidism because it helps balance our hormones.
With hypothyroidism a hormone imbalance happens where the ratio of estrogen to testosterone increases… that’s why it’s more common for women to have hypothyroidism since women naturally have more estrogen than men… it’s also why we become moody and easily irritated with hypothyroidism even as men.
It’s also why men with hypothyroidism often confuse their symptoms with low Testosterone, but it’s not necessarily higher estrogen or lower testoterone that’s wrong, it’s the ratio that matters and by making sure the body produces hormones it will automatically balance its own hormones.
… but I digress…
Low testosterone decreseases libido…
With increased testosterone we have increased libido…
… and yes, women need testosterone just like men… (they just don’t produce as much)
So this is just another perspective to show you that you have to make friends with good fats and cholesterol.
Some of these fats come from seeds and nuts.
There are certain oils and fats that you NEED to include in your diet if you want to get your body to produce its own hormones including thyroid hormone.
Milk thistle seeds
Raw egg yolk
Grass fed beef
Those are some of my favorites.[/text_block]
How to make your body produce its own thyroid hormones
Again, I just couldn’t wrap my head around eating more cholesterol and saturated fats!
… but now, I look back and it’s the best thing I ever did for my hypothyroidism!!
I first read about this in the book The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris.
In the book he’s actually talking about how to increase your testosterone.
Although he talks about testosterone, the information applies equally to thyroid hormone because again, the body uses Cholesterol as the raw material to make ALL hormones.
The main source of cholesterol I use is the raw egg yolk.
This is like liquid gold for hormone production. There’s just nothing like it.
So here’s is your home work.
If you do this home work I promise you that by next week when I release my next newsletter you will already start to feel more energy and will have seen enough results to know that this works!!
So you need to first source out good eggs.
DO NOT use raw eggs unless you know for a fact that they are pasture fed, range free and organic by the definition that they eat wild grown grass and bugs (not the food industry definition which allows for bad products to be labeled “organic”)
Preferrably sourced locally, but that’s more advanced and we’ll talk about eggs in more depth when we get into diet.
If you are not comfortable eating raw eggs (I wasn’t at first) it’s okay to just hard boil them.
Here’s my level one thyroid hormone booster recipe.
Thyroid Hormone Booster
Prep time: 5 min
Serving size: 1 serving
4 Egg yolks (or 4 whole eggs)
1 capsule of selenium
1 mL Suntrex (Vitamin D)
Celtic Sea Salt + Pepper to taste
This is a very powerful mix and should not be used more than 2-3 times per week. Especially if your diet is still high in sugar (unless you are on a ketogenic diet, you are probably eating too much sugar)
If you find plain eggs to be to bland or want to vary it a little bit here’s my level 2 thyroid hormone production smoothie I recommend you take either at night before going to bed or have it as your breakfast or both…
Straberry Banana Thick Shake
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Serving size: 1 portion
1 whole egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp MCT oil
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or water if nut sensitive)
1 tsp Straberry extract
1 tsp Banana extract
1 tbsp Swerve confectioner’s style sweetener (or to desired sweetness, but DO NOT use sugar)
Tiny pinch of celtic sea salt
Throw all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth and then serve over 1 cup of crushed ice.
Don’t forget selenium and vitamin D.
This shake is about 90% fat, 7% protein and 3% carbs.
It’s very important to keep this ratio because this is the next level of hormone production.
The enemy of good saturated fats and cholesterol is sugar.
So whenever you drink this, you must avoid sugar at all costs. Try not to eat sugar 2-3 hours before and after drinking this to start off.
Later on I’ll talk more about sugar and how it affects hormone production.
My only goal is to help you produce hormones, not to change your diet.
Once you start seeing results it’s up to you to keep eating sugar or go without once you see how good you feel.
So please, simply try that shake and start noticing how your body will start to produce hormones again.
You may feel your body temperature go up. You may even get hiccups, which means your body is not used to using oils or fat as an energy source. It’ll go away with time.
If you feel you can’t get away from sugar (I couldn’t for the longest time so don’t let anyone judge you and go at your own pace) then try this recipe:
Long Term Thyroid Hormone Maintenance Plan
Fermented Cod Liver Oil + Vitamin-Rich Butter Fat – 2 capsules upon waking and 2 before bed
1 Capsule of Selenium
1 mL of Suntrex (Vitamin D)
Notice it’s still oils, saturated fat and cholesterol you are taking, but this is fermented, which basically means it’s pre-digested so it’s easier for your body to use up.
You’ll learn more about fermentation and how magical it has been for my health (and yours too!)
This is not an overnight process.
You can expect to feel your body temperature rise as your body produces hormones. This is sometimes instant, but not always. Other than that this process takes at least a couple weeks before you start to notice results where there is no doubt this works regardless of what everyone else thinks about cholesterol.
Once you get your body to produce its own hormones, the next step is to ensure your liver can convert T4 into T3 which is the topic for next week’s newsletter.
Ok, I think this is long enough for this week’s newsletter.
I’m finishing up next week’s newsletter so stay tuned and keep an eye out for when I release it next week![/text_block]